Oasis Lionheart Football Club, Football for Life – more than Football.
At Oasis Hub Hobmoor we seek to become part of the community and to put relationship and connection at the heart of all that we do. We therefore work with and alongside local people to bring about change.
Our asset based approach to community development brings a diverse community together, overcoming segregation and lack of opportunity in the local area. The Hub runs a vibrant community centre, which opened in November 2015, and now has a footfall of 1200 people using the building a week. We deliver a timetable of events, activities, courses and holiday programmes with the aim of building a community that is healthy, safe, supportive and full of opportunity, where each individual is supported to reach their God-given potential in life. Our genuinely distinctive vision of community seeks to reconnect people to each other and empower them to create what they need and provides an integrated, holistic approach to tackling individual needs.
We do this by:
– Empowering the community, particularly women from minority communities through working with them to develop their strengths and help the community to meet, share together and build relationships.
– Equipping people (mainly women) to gain skills and qualifications to move closer to the job market to relieve child poverty through employment by providing Adult Education whilst children attend school.
– Enjoying helping the community to use our facilities for physical activities and providing women only fitness and wellbeing activities along with youth provision.
One Saturday morning, at the end of 2017, walking across the park next to the community centre, I saw Richard coaching football with 7 Young People. Richard, who lives in the local community and has years of experience coaching and teaching Young People, shared his vision with me of bringing together Young People from our diverse communities together, using football as a tool. He told me that his newly started Football School is called Lionheart Football School of Excellence. The Community Centre shares a site with Oasis Academy Hobmoor, but did not open on a Saturday and the fantastic facilities including football pitches, multi games area, changing rooms and toilets laid empty.
The Young People told me how they looked over the fence and the first question they asked was “Why can’t we play over there?” Richard told me how he used a bit of the park each week to deliver his coaching sessions, inspecting it for left needles or dog mess. This was an unbearable situation.
After further discussions, from January 2018 I arranged for the community centre to be open on Saturdays. The Young People testify how wonderful it is to now have the opportunity to make use of these facilities. They quickly began to invite their friends. By the end of the Year 80 Young People aged from 4 – 16 years old from the neighbourhood now play football together every Saturday morning and afternoon. Young People who come from across the neighbourhood and from different ethnic groups would not normally integrate together with each other. By accident the schools in our area are segregated along ethnic lines, for example Oasis Academy Hobmoor is 75% British Asian – Pakistani. The Young People love being with their new friends playing football together. We now bring together Young People from 14 different ethnicities.
British /Pakistani, Pakistani, White /Asian, White/Arabic, White British, Bangladeshi, Arab Moroccan/Irish, Asian/Arab/British, Black African, German/French, German/Arab
What the Young People have told us:
The Young People told us that they wanted to play in competitive football matches against other Youth Football teams. We have started to make some progress on this and we have entered a team into a new pilot community youth team and have recruited a team of Adult Volunteers to form a Football Club with Oasis Hub Hobmoor and Lionheart Football School of Excellence working in partnership. The Oasis Lionheart became affiliated to the Football Association in January 2019. The older Young People have told us that they want to enjoy football and make a significant contribution by becoming for example a coach or a referee.
What we will do.
We will develop young people as human beings and help equip them for future employment. . Football is not just about football skills but in and of itself, naturally supports positive character formation and can act as the key foundation upon which life skills and academic support can be built.
Sport in general supports positive social development, as the recognition of abilities and limitations takes place through role assignment and teamwork, and an understanding of the ability and achievement of others. Not only does it develop the social skills and positive social norms of each individual, it does so through an integrated process that leads to communal thinking and a relational approach, which is key to community transformation, and supports the wider vision of Oasis in creating inclusive vibrant hubs.
By its very nature football is an inclusive activity which embraces those from different religious and social backgrounds to both promote and model inclusion and equality, and reduce the potential risk of youth becoming involved in exclusive or extremist activities
The project will enable the community centre to become a Sports Leadership UK Centre delivering nationally recognised qualifications outside the school environment at the weekends. Younger participants will take part in sessions on Sportsmanship alongside teamwork through outdoor education. They will receive training on nutrition and choosing the right things to eat. Participants over the age 11 will take part in the Young Sports Leader Awards and older Young People will take part in the Sports Leadership Qualifications (https://www.sportsleaders.org/qualifications-programmes/sports-leadership) using the Football Club as a vehicle to develop more than just football skills.
The project will develop the newly formed football Club into a place where Young People and Parents will gain new skills not just football. Oasis Hub Hobmoor will work in partnership with Lionheart Football School of Excellence. Through Oasis Football for Life we will share what we have in common from a global perspective.
- Create 3 new football teams and arrange weekly matches to develop teamwork skills, a sense of purpose and belonging, bringing young people from diverse ethnic backgrounds together from the neighbourhood. This will lead to greater social cohesion.
- Develop a community league of local teams.
- Hold at least 2 tournaments a year.
- Become a recognised Centre for Sports Leaders UK.
- Train at least one tutor to deliver the course. (We already have one).
- 20 Young People to participate in the Sports Leadership qualification Level 1 and 2.
- https://www.sportsleaders.org/qualifications-programmes/sports-leadership to develop leadership skills.
- 20 Young People to participate in the Lead on Award to develop leadership skills.
- 40 Young People to take part in a one day outdoor session led by Mellow Journeys to develop teamwork and fitness.
- 60 Young People will take part in 10 nutritional workshops to develop a healthy lifestyle and cut down on sugar intake.
- Share global football stories from Oasis Hubs across the world.
– Through sport and physical activity young people will become confident and healthy leaders.
– At the core young people will gain all the benefits of regular exercise and playing together in football teams. This includes, reduced obesity and increased fitness, meeting new friends from different backgrounds who live in our neighbourhood, developing character including teamwork, respect and discipline and the ability to manage emotions associated with winning and losing.
– Young people who participate will make wise and healthy life style choices – reducing involvement in anti-social and unhealthy activities.
– Young people will have an increased sense of community spirit and willingness and ability to enact social change; evidenced by increased social interaction and influence over others to bring about positive community transformation.
– Young people will develop a sense of pride in their achievements, as well as the team and local neighbourhood that they are a part of Sports Leaders UK – A 2016 survey of Local Delivery Providers (LDPs) delivering “Go Lead” as part of their NCS programme found that:
- 71% of young people felt better prepared for progressions to their next step (employment, further/higher education, apprenticeships)
- Young people’s likelihood to volunteer in the community increased by 35% following completing the Go Lead award
- 84% of young people were more confident in their abilities
- 86% of tutors felt that the resources full equipped them to deliver the award
-Young people will regularly attend and be committed to the football club and training programme provided by Lionheart Football School of Excellence. Many will undertake a qualification in Sports Leadership or an Award and through this will learn and demonstrate important life skills such as effective communication and organisation whilst learning to lead basic physical activities to younger people, their peers, older generations and within the community.
– The football club will be led by young People for young People- with a true sense of ownership.
– Young People who participate will demonstrate greater fitness and choose a healthy life style.
– Young People who participate will develop good character – developing a sense of teamwork, togetherness and confidence to effectively influence their peers and wider community and develop a change agent mentality.
– Young People will be aware that Young People like them play football and that this is a global activity.
– We will see an increase in volunteers through the project, who will form part of a movement aiming to transform the community, organising and taking part in social action and producing opportunities for others in the community. This will all lead to a vibrant, active, empowered community with cohesion.
We will monitor outcomes using Triangle Outcome Stars (Youth Star) to measure change and impact. The Youth Star measures attitudes towards choices and behaviour, health and wellbeing, hopes and dreams, communication and education and work.